Ladies, Check Your Attics!

Early 1960s "Evening Splendour" dress with real mink hat! Sold $22

Very rare outfit for Mattel's Twiggy doll - Sold $59!

Everyone knows that vintage Barbie dolls and clothes are highly collectible, but I had no idea just how valuable they can be until recently when I came across a large collection of vintage 1960s Barbie clothes at a garage sale.  I don’t have much of an interest in dolls or clothes, so I usually bypass them.  These were priced right (cheap!), however, so I figured at the very least I would have fun sorting through them.  The clothes were stuffed in three bags, unmatched.  It took me days to sort, match shoes, research online and identify outfits.   As it turns out, it was worth the effort.   The value of some of these items is unbelievable!

Especially popular and sought after are complete outfits from the very early 1960s — usually with shoes, hat, purse and sometimes gloves.  Also look for shoes marked JAPAN on the bottom, especially the high-heeled pumps and individual early accessories.  One pair of pumps in the right color can go for $50 or more and the little mink hat pictured at the top typically sells by itself for $20 – $30.  Complete outfits in unopened packages are the collector’s dream and can fetch hundreds of dollars.  And don’t forget about Barbie’s friends — Francie, Skipper, Casey, Tutti, Ken and, starting with Twiggy in the late 1960s, the limited edition celebrity dolls.

There is a great website that provides detailed information about every outfit created for each doll in the Barbie line during the 1960s.  Even if you don’t collect or have anything to sell, it’s fun to browse and is sure to bring back fond memories.

"Sweet N Swingin' outfit for Francie - Sold $110!

A mod mod dress! Sold $20

Closed-Toe High-Heel Pumps, marked JAPAN. Sold $31!

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Very Brady eBay Auction!

Check out these cool vintage 70s clothes going up for auction on eBay tonight!  We have a couple of silky polyester disco shirts and some mod, mod, mod double-knit mini-dresses that could have come right from Carol Brady’s closet.   Groovy!

Published in: on April 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm  Comments (1)  

Say It’s Only a Paper Doll…

Or so kind of goes the song.

These dolls might be just paper, but it’s paper of the cash variety!   I come across these occasionally at estate and garage sales and they have yet to let me down.  This particular doll, cut from a 1917 newspaper with a unique wrap-around dress, just fetched $50 on ebay!  Hooray! 

Others I’ve sold were not so old, but equally interesting and profitable — 1950s fashion sets, girl scout dolls, etc.    As you can imagine, these dolls are fragile and didn’t hold up well with the young girls that played with them years ago.  Not many survived and those that did are a hot commodity.  Collectors are very enthusiastic and willing to pay top dollar.  Watch for them!

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya…

Or your grandmama!

These adorable novelty salt and pepper shaker sets were all the rage in the 40s and 50s and could be found in every dime store.  In fact, I have a pair of little birds in my personal collection with the Woolworth tags still attached.  Most were made in Japan and are marked as such on the bottom.

I find these often at estates sales, sometimes by the boxful.   The price range is all over the map, but $5 to $20 a set seems to be average — a real bargain since many were part of displayed collections and are often in unused, mint condition.

The three pairs pictured here, plus nine others, are up for auction right now on ebay.   They sure would look cute on your table!

Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ain’t It a Humdinger?

I found this fabulous 1949 Humdinger coloring book at an estate sale last summer.  The graphics are so cute, and although a handful of the pages have been colored, it is in nearly mint condition.   I don’t think it will sell for more than $10 on ebay, but it sure is fun to look at!

Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Piece of Butter the Size of a Hickory Nut?

Oh, how lucky we are to be living in the 21st century!

Love, love, love these two recent antique cookbook finds — they are fascinating to read and would make a great addition to any collection.  But to cook from them?  Maybe not.

Letters to a Young Housekeeper, 1892, by Marie Hansen-Taylor advises the new bride that “our forefathers, the Anglo-Saxons, knew in the dark ages that vegetables by themselves are poor food.  They like them best accompanied by milk, butter and cheese.”  Hmmm, perhaps that explains the life expectancy of 50!

Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving, 1891, by Mary F. Henderson is similarly heavy on the high calorie foods and also incredibly vague with the instructions.  One recipe for wafers instructs the cook to start with “a piece of butter the size of a hickory nut and a scant teacupful of flour”.  If you make it through the entire recipe, then you get to “bake it until done in a hot oven“.  Good luck!

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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1835 Jacquard Coverlet – What’s It Worth??

I’ve been in the vintage/antiques business for a few years and have learned so much about so many old things.  Still, I come across things on a regular basis that I have absolutely no clue regarding history or true value.  I’m pretty good at recognizing quality, so I often throw a few dollars at items I really don’t know much about but have a hunch are valuable.  

A few weeks ago I found this jacquard coverlet dated July 1835.  I did a bit of internet research and discovered that these were quite common in the 19th century.  Many towns had a weaver just like they would have a blacksmith or a tavern.   You could take your wool and cotton to the weaver and they would transform your raw materials with natural indigo dies on their loom into these beautifully designed blankets.  Personally, I prefer a trip to Kohl’s, but I seriously doubt that the blankets I buy today will last 175 years!! 

This one is gorgeous and has definitely stood the test of time.  Still, I really have no idea of its true worth.  On eBay, similar items sell from $100 – $1000!   So I started this auction at $49.99 and we’ll let the bidders decide! Here’s the link to the listing with more pictures:

Fans of BuenaVintage, I’d love to have your input!  Give me your best guess at the final eBay value of this coverlet via comment on my blog or Facebook.   The winner will receive internet noteriety and a fabulous vintage cookbook from me!  The book you will receive for guessing closest to the final amount will be The Art of Fine Baking, by Paula Peck.  It’s a 1960s classic in mint condition.  So post your thoughts!  This is just a fun little game, so one entry per person, please.

Published in: on December 5, 2009 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Thankful for Pretty Quilts!

I’m all thumbs when it comes to needle and thread and have a very deep appreciation for seamstresses and quilters past and present.   I am particularly awed by those who diligently saved every scrap of fabric from feedsacks to finery and stitched them, by hand,  into stunning works of art.   Here is just one example I found a few weeks ago.  Can you imagine the stories these fabrics could tell?!

More pictures on eBay!

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Santa, Is That You?

Hollywood Santa - check out those pearly whites!

I’m doing some research today on early 20th century Christmas postcards before I start posting them on eBay. Turns out the jolly, red-suited, chubby-cheeked modern Santa Claus we all know and love is really a product of the Coca Cola company — created for a 1920s advertising campaign and popular ever since.  Prior to that, images of Santa were quite varied.  He was skinny, fat, tall, short, and wore suits of many colors, not just red.  Most of these old images are very charming and quaint, but some are funny and even a little bit strange by today’s standards.   Here are a few of my favorites:



Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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See Mary Sell!

Mary went to a country auction.

Mary loves country auctions!

Mary bought many pretty things.

Mary loves pretty things!

Mary sells many pretty things from country auctions on eBay!

Vintage children’s schoolbooks are so charming!  I found these three readers from the 1930s last summer, and this week they will be up for auction on eBay (starting Sunday, Nov. 22).   I think they would be so great as decor in a child’s room, but I’ve also seen those clever crafty types use the wonderful graphics for scrapbooking and homemade greeting cards.   If you have any other ideas for these, please post a comment to help those of us who are creatively challenged!

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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